You’ve got a cool cosplay helmet and now you want to put lights inside it? Let’s do it! Whether you’re starting with a purchased helmet or you’ve made your helmet from scratch, adding lighting can take your cosplay to the next level. There are many ways to add lighting to cosplay projects; sometimes a simple battery-powered tea light is enough to add a touch of magic to a costume piece or prop.
In this tutorial, we’ll take a cue from today’s space movies (think Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and The Martian) and add internal LEDs to light the face of our astronaut. We’ll also add external LEDs that flash when our astronaut is talking: a cool interactive effect that will really bring the costume to life!
To control the circuit, we’re using the ItsyBitsy M0 Express from Adafruit. While the Gemma M0 board is our go-to for wearable projects (and would work just fine if you’ve got one to hand), the ItsyBitsy gives us room to grow if we want to add more functionality to the helmet in the future. Maybe a voice changer? Or sci-fi sound samples triggered by capacitive touch areas on the helmet? The possibilities are endless, and once you’ve got your ItsyBitsy installed, it’s easy to reprogram with CircuitPython whenever you get a new idea.
The project is programmed in several lines of CircuitPython, Python on microcontrollers, the “edit in a text editor, drop the file on the flash drive and it runs automagically” language.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.